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A Year in Smoke

Richard Carleton Hacker

A lot of things happened in 1961.  John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States, the New York Yankees won the World Series, and Rocky Patel was born. Hence the Rocky Patel 1961, one of this well-known cigar personality’s newest offerings and the first to be made in Rocky’s Tabacalera Villa Cuba factory in Nicaragua.

With its dark, silky Ecuadorean Habano seed wrapper, Honduran binder, and Nicaraguan fillers, the favor is strong yet refined, like tempered steel but with a hint of red rust. The RP 1961 is definitely a small-batch-bourbon cigar, linking up admirably with a snifter of Pappy Van Winkle’s 23-Year-Old Family Reserve or Michter’s 25 Year Old. Plus, whether you hold the cigar right side up or upside down, the 1961 band reads the same. Four traditional sizes are offered: a 5x50 Robusto ($7.50); 5½x50 Torpedo ($8.50); 6x52 Toro ($8.50); and a 5½x44 Corona ($6.50). Like Rocky, all have aged well. (www.rockypatel.com)

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Photo by Richard Carleton Hacker
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